MSPs can support SMEs with the right AI infrastructure, says ALSO Cloud UK
January 2024 by ALSO Cloud UK
As we approach the new year, keeping track of SME top priorities and how they can best be addressed is essential for MSPs seeking to retain customer interest. Gartner’s recent 2023 CEO survey showed that environmental issues entered the top 10 priority ranking for the first time in the survey, with 64% of CEOs surveyed said combining digitalisation, such as AI adoption, and environmental sustainability is a growth opportunity.
While sustainability is a crucial issue for SMEs across multiple industries, the prominence of next-generation computing tools such as generative AI (GenAI) has allowed greater workplace efficiency without significantly adding to green footprints. Yet leveraging growth with these tools for a much greener future can be challenging for business leaders looking to integrate AI effectively but not knowing where to start.
Mark Appleton, Chief Customer Officer at ALSO Cloud UK, believes IT leaders must balance the demand for modern AI tools in their workplaces and maximise sustainability initiatives. This solution can be found within MSP partnerships – IT leaders shouldn’t feel pressured to use every next-gen technology and instead rely on their provider for tailored solutions customised to their needs.
“Generative AI developments are just one of many steps in the journey to cloud seen by the modern business landscape. Whilst the cloud transition has been an eventuality for many UK businesses, the advantages reported by small business enterprises using AI technology have proven that this will soon become a crucial part of the modern workplace.
“But while it has already been proven that the technology helps the workforce save time and cut down on mistakes, the top obstacles for its integration have been understanding how to use AI solutions effectively and pinpointing which ones will create the most growth for SMEs on an individual level. Guidance is needed, especially for smaller businesses trying not to be left behind by their larger competitors.”
Appleton believes MSPs can support SMEs transitioning to AI and Gen AI solutions. “From prompt engineering to integrating AI tools into infrastructure, MSPs are in the best position to understand their SME customer needs individually and support them with specific infrastructure. As AI enables us to work smarter and greener, we expect to see more innovations shaping the future of work and sustainability.
“AI-driven tools such as Microsoft Copilot add to sustainability efforts, as teams work more efficiently with reduced energy consumption. Infrastructure and sustainability tie in together; without the proper infrastructure, it can disrupt business continuity, so MSPs have a role in ensuring that tools that provide sustainability support are also integrated in a way that users can access and quickly get to grips with.
“Onboarding is a crucial part of MSPs liaising with customers, so as sustainability becomes even more of a driving factor for IT leaders and CIOs alike, MSP onboarding packages should reflect this. But as with every business journey, this begins with the first step. Finding the best approach to facilitate business functions is key to long-term success for SMEs, and MSPs have a critical role in aiding with this guidance and support.”